The DIY Degree: Using Self-Education to Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in 1 Year

“What’s the point of learning, if you don’t get a degree after?”

This has been the biggest criticism of my MIT Challenge, and honestly, it’s not an easy one to avoid. Even if weirdos like me are willing to learn a degree outside of school, the truth is the world still values that piece of paper. Unfortunately, until recently I’ve had little answer to this complaint–it seems if you want the degree, you have to suffer through an often slow and expensive process.

That was before I met Jay Cross. Jay in many ways did a project similar to mine–he completed a bachelor’s degree in less time, mostly through self-study. The only difference? Jay got a real degree for his efforts.

I asked Jay to write a guest post to share his method with you. Not only does it work, but it gets results in the real world as well. Jay has already had career opportunities that would be the envy of a lot of college grads, having staff writing positions for major publications and entrepreneurial ventures. Jay demonstrates that not only can self-education work, it can be a true alternative for many students hesitant about college.

The DIY Degree, by Jay Cross

Today, I’m going to show you a totally new twist on self-education.

We’ve long been told that learning is an “either/or” decision. You can either spend four years in college and earn a degree…OR study on your own with no degree to show for it. But what if you could have the best of both: the credential employers crave, with the speed, personalization and low cost of self-study?

You can.

Using the “degree-by-examination” approach, you can earn a bachelor’s degree by taking tests instead of classes. It works no matter where you live, lets you graduate in one year instead of four, and costs roughly 1/20th the price of a regular degree…with the exact same legitimacy and earning power.

The problem: society DOES still value degrees

Some jobs require degrees no matter how smart you are. Even in more flexible professions (like programming) there’s always one or two “By-The-Book Bob” types who reject non-grads on principle.

This concerned me, even with all I had accomplished already. If there was any way to graduate for minimal time and cost—and eliminate this potential obstacle—it seemed worthwhile to try. Of all the different approaches I researched and read about, degree-by-examination was the college shortcut that actually worked.

Before I explain, allow me to share the struggles that led me to this discovery in the first place.

My Struggle with the Traditional College System

Lots of people ask how I discovered the degree-by-examination approach I teach on my website, The Do-It-Yourself Degree.

The truth is, it was all an accident. If my college had not been so awful, I would’ve happily paid their fees and graduated the standard way. Instead, it was a classic “necessity is the mother of invention” scenario where circumstances forced me to think differently.

As a transfer student at the University of Connecticut, I needed 12 more classes to finish my degree. “I’ll be done in no time”, I thought. Boy, was I wrong! I soon discovered that UConn, for whatever reason, didn’t offer required classes for semesters at a time…with no notice of when they would return.

Confused and discouraged, I was left with only the hope of “someday” taking that Principles of Finance or Business Law class I needed. I was frozen in place: wanting to progress, but completely unable to. As someone who loves plans and schedules, it crushed my enthusiasm and made it very difficult to stay motivated.

Worse yet, UConn was expensive. I had been debt-free up until now and I wanted to keep it that way.

Each night, on my hour-long commute to school, I pressed myself: “what am I going to do about this?”

Sometimes it was too demoralizing to think about.  I went through brief episodes of denial, telling myself I would “somehow” be able to pay without borrowing or “somehow” take the courses UConn wasn’t offering. It was all I could do for a few moments of relief in a hopeless situation.

The Solution: Degree-by-Examination

But when I came to my senses, I knew that was total BS. There was no “somehow.” Either I could afford it or I couldn’t. Either the classes were available or they weren’t. The gods of wish fulfillment were not going to munificently protect me from hard numbers or school policy. It was time to be brutally honest with myself. If I stayed at UConn, I’d pay a ton of money and probably wait two more years to graduate. What I needed was a solution: a realistic plan that acknowledged these obstacles and overcame them.

All options were on the table: alternative degree programs, different schools, even a new major, if that would help.

My quest started out pretty aimlessly. I Googled things like “get my degree faster” and “faster ways to get college credit”—anything that seemed relevant.

Most of what I found was totally worthless. Scams, diploma mills, shady online colleges and all the usual garbage that discouraged me from looking into this sooner. But persistence paid off, and a few weeks later I found an article by Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA.

Having read his excellent articles on entrepreneurship, I knew Josh wouldn’t even be writing without practical, real-world advice to share.

I was right.

What Josh explained is that you can “test out” of a degree just like you can test out of a class. Most schools won’t force you through a semester of College Algebra, for example, if a placement test says you’re ready for Pre-Calculus. It’s a great time-saver, but schools aren’t eager to tell you about it. They would rather you take College Algebra anyway, because you stay longer and spend more.

By using the approach Josh outlined, you can literally earn an entire degree this way. Instead of attending dozens of courses, you study on your own and take an exam for each subject. Rather than taking English 101, for instance, you take a 3-hour exam covering an entire semester of English material. Same goes for psychology, accounting, and the other required courses in your degree program.

No homework, no class attendance, no school bureaucracy or BS. My frustration melted away, replaced by surging confidence and the knowledge that a solution was at hand.

The exams are affordable—between $80-$200 apiece—and can be taken at virtually any college or testing center in the country. Study materials are available at websites like Free CLEP Prep and InstantCert Academy.

Each exam is worth 3-12 credits (depending on the subject.) Once you pass enough exams to obtain a degree—typically 120 credits for a bachelor’s—you transfer them all to a distance learning school like Excelsior College. Although not famous, Excelsior is a legitimate, regionally accredited college, just like any state school or private university.

(Not everyone can accept the trade-off of saving years/tens of thousands of dollars by attending an unremarkable college. If you are one of them, check out my guest post on I Will Teach You To Be Rich. It covers the psychology of putting effectiveness before ego—a core concept I teach my readers. And it just might change your mind!)

After paying Excelsior’s admissions/graduation fees, you become a graduate of that school and receive a genuine bachelor’s degree to proudly display on your resume.

These subject exams offer the highest ROI in all of higher education. Here’s a cost-per-credit analysis I assembled for my blog readers. The third row shows the average costs of degree-by-examination:

Sources: CollegeBoard and DIY Degree

Best of all, degree-by-examination is totally self-managed. You study for the exams you want to take and take them when you are ready. If you fail one, you can take it again in 3-6 months and take others while you wait. No guessing games or waiting for the school to offer the subjects you need.

These schools aren’t new. Busy adults have been graduating from colleges like Excelsior with online courses for more than fifteen years. What IS new is the approach of earning your degree with exams instead of coursework. Most traditional colleges allow credit-by-examination as well, but with strict limits (for example, “maximum of 20 credits earned via examination.”) These limits help colleges force you to buy credits in the more expensive “classroom” format.

Yet unlike UConn (and most other schools) Excelsior has no exam limit. I simply transferred all the credits I had earned so far, took exams for the ones I still needed, and finished my bachelor’s degree in four months instead of two years.

How Can You Do the Same?

Josh’s article on “hacking” a college degree was superb, but there’s only so much territory one article can cover. It soon dawned on me that there were lots of details which would only become clear once I clarified them:

  • Which exams should I take?
  • What other types of exams are there besides CLEP?
  • How are those other types of exams different from CLEP?
  • Which order should I take them in?
  • Who do I call?
  • How do I enroll?
  • How do I choose a degree program? There are literally dozens.
  • What subjects/credits are required for my degree?
  • How do I actually schedule my exams?
  • How do I know for sure that they’re going to count toward MY degree requirements?
  • Are there ways to earn credits quickly OTHER than exams?
  • Once I pass an exam, how do I notify my school and make sure those credits get there?
  • What if I fail an exam? Can I re-take it? Should I retake it? If so, when? If not, how do I earn credit for that subject?
  • What’s the difference between upper and lower-level credit?
  • How do I get upper-level credit? Most CLEP exams are for lower-level credit only.
  • Which exams are graded and which are pass/fail? How does that affect my GPA?
  • Does my school accept [exam here] for [course requirement here]?
  • What about college courses I’ve already taken? Will the school I enroll in count those credits toward my degree? How many? Which ones?
  • How do I track my progress?
  • How long will all of this take?

I love research more than breathing and gleefully wrestled ALL of these answers from course advisors, articles and web forums. I spent sleepless nights learning how some guy shaved three months off his degree schedule or got an edge on an exam I was studying for. I found it intellectually challenging to treat this approach like an experiment and search for ways to optimize it.

Some of the answers I discovered were surprising. For instance, most people talk about CLEP exams, but there are actually several other exam formats available: DSST, TECEP, and Excelsior College Exams, for instance. This widely expands the range of subjects you can test out of. There are also non-exam options for earning credit, such as self-paced online math courses from ALEKS. (As someone terrified of math, this was a lifesaver!)

If you fail an exam, you aren’t doomed…but you will need to wait 3-6 months before re-taking it.

Want to graduate with a high GPA? I discovered that some exams are scored with letter grades, while others are “Pass/Fail.” This offers an incredible opportunity to be strategic: taking subjects you excel in for grades and subjects you’re bad at for “Pass/Fail.”

These are just some of the possibilities for customizing your own high-speed, low-cost bachelor’s degree.

Standing Out to Employers

My favorite part of the DIY Degree (beyond the cost, classroom avoidance, and completion time) is actually how it positions you to employers.

Put yourself in a hiring manager’s shoes. He or she has seen countless students come through their office with bachelor’s degrees.

Here’s the truth: if you graduate like everyone else does…you are a commodity. Unless you have other compelling items on your resume, you will not jump off the page and grab the hiring manager’s attention like you’ve been told a college degree would do for you.

Why is that? Why are degrees so taken for granted and unimpressive today? For one thing, there’s degree inflation. More people than ever having degrees makes yours less remarkable. But it’s also because the college experience ITSELF is now associated with sloth, partying, and immaturity.

The most recent example of this came from President Barack Obama. When someone asked what he would say to all the students who are struggling with student loans, Obama essentially said “I would encourage students to look more seriously at their studies instead of treating it like a 4-year party.”

If that’s what the President thinks, can you imagine how a hiring manager feels? They’ve hired dozens (maybe HUNDREDS) of college graduates. They aren’t going to be blown away by your standard-issue degree from XYZ State University.

On the other hand, someone who not only designed their own degree program from scratch, but also scheduled, financed, and passed anywhere from 20-40 challenging tests all on their own…THAT’S someone worth interviewing. You are effectively taking what has become a standard, “check the box” credential…and re-framing it as a unique competitive advantage.

Companies want independent problem-solvers, and while anyone can say they do that, earning an expensive four-year credential in ¼ of the time backs it up.

I see the DIY Degree as a “gap solution” for career advancement. Eventually, society will stop caring about credentials and focus more on targeted portfolios of an individual’s work. Until then, degree-by-examination offers a way to graduate without mortgaging your future in the process.

Jay Cross would like to share his DIY Degree system with you

If you want to learn more, Jay has created a free DIY Degree “Insider’s Kit” at his website.

Upon signing up, you will instantly receive:

  • His 5-page “How To Test Out of Your Degree” report, which explains the time-saving DIY Degree process in ten simple steps
  • His “Why DIY Degrees Make You Irresistible to Employers” MP3
  • His best, most recent, and ultra-specific advice on college, careers, and getting ahead (which he never posts on the blog)

Click here to sign up and get your Insider’s Kit instantly. The DIY Degree isn’t for everyone, but if time and cost are your biggest barriers to graduating, he wants to help you!

Side Note: Jay Cross put together this guest post, and while I endorse his website and methods, it’s not affiliated with my own. If you want more information about this, I recommend you use the sign-up link above to check it out!

  • Max

    Screw trying to get out of college faster. What about just the cost?
    If it takes me four years to get a degree at 1/20th the cost I would much rather do that than the alternative. Even If I’m not disciplined and it takes me a long time I’m still finding a affordable way to receive my education. Not only that….. someone could –> DIY during the regular semesters –> during summers go to community colleges and still save a ton a money……

  • Milan

    So I’ve been reading this blog for about 6 months or so now and it’s been good, but seriously this article…

    just changed my life.

  • Matt

    Excellent post. I may already have multiple degrees (and their associated debt), but I’m always looking to extend my education in interesting ways. Thanks for a lot of new ideas.

  • modou

    What a great post. This definitely has been so helpful. Thanks a billion times Scott and Jay.

  • Brian

    This solves the credentialing problem, particularly if you’re going to stop at a BA or BS.

    With respect to the MIT challenge, say you take the GRE physics subject exam afterwards and did well. Would any graduate school deny you simple because you did not have the BS diploma? I doubt it. The GRE score on a subject exam would be a very good indicator of your knowledge of the subject, and greatly increase the credibility of your story.

  • Jay Cross

    Thanks for the kind words, everyone! Please drop any questions you have into the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.

    Good luck in your studies! 🙂

  • jon

    can you do things living outside U.S/Canada ??

  • Paul

    Thanks scott for expanding on the idea from jay cross. I’m definately giving this approach a serious thought as it is the best option i have towards getting a college degree. ( worshipped here in Africa ). Jay, im hoping you would discount ( heavily ) your book …..

  • BeverlyC

    Jon, yes, you can do this outside the US, though it takes a bit more effort and planning. Our oldest daughter graduated from Liberty Univ last year in Education. She took CLEP, Dantes and DSST tests in Manila and Hong Kong (we live in Asia) and did other classes online through Liberty. She finished in 2 1/2 years and the cost was just over $17,000, this included her computer and travels to Manila and Hong Kong from China. We were faced with time constraints that prevented her from traveling more, or she would have considered going through Excelsior or Thomas Edison and testing out of more classes.

  • Jay Cross


    The honest answer is, it depends. You need to be near the right testing centers. I am working on putting together a chart that tells international students if they can use this approach.

  • Dru

    Great article. I took the degree by exam path from 2007-2009, and finished with my Bachelors from Excelsior. As mentioned, there are several different types of exams that can be used. You can also in some cases use professional courses to earn credit as well. I took the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) exams in 2007, which not only gave me a professional credential but gave me 30 credits towards my degree as well.

    As Jay mentioned Excelsior is a legitimate, accredited college. I was able to use by degree from Excelsior and get admitted in 2010 into the Colorado State University MBA program (using tuition reimbursement from my employer to pay for 90% of it). Just graduated this year.

    Total time from start to MBA: 5 years (and it could have been faster)
    Total cost for BS from Excelsior and MBA from CSU: around $6000.

    If anyone is looking to get their degree I HIGHLY recommend looking into degree by exam.

  • benny

    Thank you for posting this article, I want to run out and get started asap but there’s only one problem, I live in London United Kingdom. Please please create a chart for people like me based here. This a totally head-spinning and opinion changing write-up and to think I just randomly clicked on the link on twitter. Lucky me.

  • Sue Maltman

    Jay… you are brilliant! omg… I wish I could have done this 38 years ago when I dropped out of University in disgust… when I realized that Faculties of Nutrition were everywhere controlled by unscrupulous Agribiz, Big Pharma and Food Processing giants. Later on I took another 4 courses 12 and 16 years ago and still didn’t get my degree… I will finally complete it with your info, and soon be fully accredited in my field! YES!

  • Joy

    At one point you had an e-book out which I was interested in buying as it seemed to detail how this is to be gone about. I was going to email you on your web page but there is no contact link anymore either. Hopefully you will respond to this comment with helpful direction.

  • Vince


    I have read this post and the DIY website, and have learned about what the system is about. After realizing that getting a degree is much faster by taking standardized exams, I began looking up for these types of tests (ie Excelsior, DSST, CLEP etc). But after a bit of research I began to find that tests like CLEP do not necessarily cover some of the technical subject areas found in schools today (the commons ones I see that cover are sciences, psychology, languages, math etc).

    But I like to confirm: are there certain limited degrees that you can earn using the DIY way? Or does the DIY way work for some degrees like computer science or biochemistry?

    Any input is appreciated!

  • Jay Cross

    @ Dru, excellent! Those are exactly the types of results that are possible with the degree by exam approach, yet so few people know about it. I love your story.

    @Benny, you are eligible for the DIY Degree approach, as most of the test centers in the UK are in London. All systems go! 🙂

    @Sue, terrific! Please email me ( when you wrap up your degree. I’d love to hear how it went for you.

  • Jay Cross

    @Vince, the DIY Degree approach is more compatible with some majors than others. That said, it can still shave anywhere from $10,000-$20,000 off the cost of ANY degree you obtain, from any college (even if you don’t go the full credit-by-exam route at a school like Excelsior.)

  • Jay Cross

    Hi Joy,

    The contact form should be fixed now. If not, go ahead and email me directly at!

  • Dru

    Hi Vince- in my experience the DIY process works better for more generic degrees (liberal arts, applied science, general business, etc) than it does for specific degrees. However, that is rapidly changing as more and more online options are becoming available. I would start by creating your degree plan (just look one up at the college of your choice, or use the ones offered by Excelsior), and then researching to see if you can find all of the classes or their equivalent online.

    Even if you cant fully get the degree you want via DIY, as Jay mentioned you can still cut your costs significantly by testing out where you can. Most traditional college programs accept 24-30 credits by examination, which will still save you quite a bit of money and allow you to finish a year’s worth of study in 2-6 months.

  • Abiy Terefe

    I think that is not so new for most of the education system we had. Students study (most of the time) to pass the exams. But never t understand why they do that except for some brave once. However you can be skilled in solving to pass exams but not have the knowledge to pass it forward. May it would be better to incorrporate problem solving in every semester or term of the study time. So pupil could be nurtured in both dimensions.

  • BonitaBMW_BenzRedhead

    i appreciate the well-written blog so much.As a highly astute lady who was able to commence her own biz,doing well i just am in clear devoid of a B.S and or BA degree,in my legal studies,paralegal.i am going to get it to simply
    enhance what i already know for 12yrs.para-legal,and advocate work,also to start applying at law school,(even though they are very expensive!)well worth it,for us future lawyer,who already have database of people etc.from paralegal work advocate work etc.and i want to say again thank you i am surely going to procure my B.A.sooner than NORMAL TIME,it usually take many to procure.I will be doing the coursework, full time double up on classes,study non-stop,having
    your own biz allow me to do it without fret,and i will be saving this blog here,thank you so much again.

    Class of 2015/2016.

  • Plotinus Njualem

    Thanks Jay for this great insides. I had been looking for a formula to use to easily acquire a Bachelors degree. I had also done some MIT Challenges for myself long ago. If I had this information back then, I should have been working on my Masters Degree now.

    I will signup for your Insider’s Kid immediately. Thanks again!

  • peter

    Thank you for your valuable information Iam a student in Knya and I would like to know where I can undertake the examination as well as the cost implication to enble me complete a bachelors course .

  • Mike Angley

    Thanks Jay,
    The information presented here are priceless, they are information that will see more Universities out of traditional business.

  • Boothvleen Charles Boute

    Hi, am 18 and i just graduated HS. I really dont want to waiste my time in college, but i do want a degree.I would like to know how to get started, am willing to work hard so, please tell me.

  • Carlos


    Thanks for the article. I’d love to use this method. Unfortunately I live in Spain and I’m not sure when I will be moving back. I take occasional trips to see my family and thats maybe once a year. I read about the possibility of taking exams in the UK. If I were to take the exams would that be fulling an American Degree? Are there any test centers in Spain? Before moving to Spain I went to university for about 4 quarters and 3 more semesters at a junior college online. Can I use my completed credits for my DIY degree? If so how? I appreciate any and all the help.

    Kinds regards

  • Kenia Cuevas

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn anything like this before. So nice to find any person with some original ideas on this subject. realy thanks for beginning this up. this website is one thing that’s needed on the internet, somebody with a little bit originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the web!

  • Beatris Alexnder

    Trop peu de commentaires pour un article de cette qualité… Dommage !

  • Ben

    Has anyone from Australia been able to acquire a full business degree via examination from Excelsior College? I’m in Sydney, and unfortunately, we don’t have any CLEP or DSST testing centers nearby. So getting the full credits might be difficult. Is there any other way to obtain credits for Australians?

  • Nikki

    I just wanted to say that this was a very helpful article that you wrote. I’ve been looking for a way to complete my degree that I started years ago but couldn’t finish due to the overwhelming cost at the time. Now, I think I have a plan that I can work with. 🙂

  • Bryan

    When I was looking for other options to acquire college degree in a short time and affordable, I came across this blog and read about this post. Your discovery of the degree-by-examination approach is amazing.. I am a working student before and now I stopped and start working full-time a year now because I can’t just support my schooling fees and so on.. I am planning to continue when I have enough savings soon.. I appreciate your insights and ideas regarding this matter to help others because college these days are very expensive.

  • whisperingsage

    Wll, supposing we have all of our general curriculum taken care of and need the core classes? How can we test out of those? My goal is nursing, I am a licensed nurse and need one expensive semester to get my RN.

  • Nancy Russ

    Hi Jay,
    Lets say I complete 95% of my credits through testing with Excelsior then ask my hometown university to accept those course credits. Does anyone do that? I ask as I know I’m going to need one on one help with my pre calculus algebra class which will require enrollment at my home university. Has anyone in this forum accomplished this with all credits from Excelsior transferring to another university?

  • Melissa

    Hi Jay! I have really enjoyed reading this article. It has told me what I have been wanting to know for ten plus years. My only difficulty is that I live in Sao Pailo, Brazil. Do you know if it is possible from here? Are there testing centers, or would I need to take the tests when I go to the US to visit? Hoping to get a response. Thanks so much!!

  • Gaurav Mishra


    I also have the same question.
    What if I want to use the credits earned through Excelsior or other such university to complete the degree from other home university, for example UConn?

  • Kristina

    To those asking about completing credits through Excelsior to transfer, I think you are missing a point here. Credits by exam do not have to be transferred to Excelsior to then be transferred to another school. If you want to graduate from your nearby school just ask them what their credit by exam policy is. Most schools limit how many credits by exam they will take, although some allow so many of each different type. What makes Excelsior special is that they do not have a limit. Now if you just want to take the math class at your local school but graduate through Excelsior you can do that. Basically most schools require so many credits taken in residency, meaning through them. Excelsior now requires a couple specific courses taken through them but it is very minimal. If you want to see what it is like to do credit by exam just sign up for one. Once you do you will be hooked. I wish I knew how easy it was to do so a decade ago. I finished my last year of college in a few months as well taking one to two exams almost every weekend. I got a promotion about four months after finishing my degree through Excelsior and enrolled in a graduate program a few months after finishing my degree as well. Now one year later I have a masters degree. If you are someone who is a self learner and reads a lot anyway you are bound to find an exam you can pass.

    To those asking if you can do this for specific majors. This is more difficult. In fact I actually wish I would have started testing out sooner and just gone for a focus instead of a major. With a major through Excelsior you have to take specific classes. However they also have focus options which only require a block of credits in a subject area but not specific courses. Now for technical areas like computer skills I would suggest certification tests. I believe Microsoft and Sun have exams you can take to certify you in specific computer skills. What is nice about Excelsior is they actually convert some of these exams into college credit, so this may be an option.

  • Gian

    Hello, I am interested in learning more about DIY. Please, let me know the resources that I can read further about. Thank you.


  • John

    There is a social aspect to going to classes, learning to use word documents, meeting deadlines, dealing with teachers, group projects etc. that testing out does not give.

  • Taylor

    John, I think you missed the point. You still go to college.

  • shawn

    What about if you need financial aid? I’m trying to do this at Edison State College in NJ and they seem to have a residency requirement to attend the school. So I’d have to register a certain amount of credits there. If I don’t, I can’t get financial aid. Thus the dilema.

  • Heather

    Inquiring about a faster degree

  • Rico Most

    For anyone that feels as if actually being in a classroom and having to meet deadlines is exclusive only to colleges and universities, has not done both.

    As someone who took a year in college and has also been Self studying.
    I can tell you that although school has its benifits, self study can be just as benificial. Its all in how YOU want to structure your degree.
    While your self studying you set personal goals and deadlines which Ive found are more strict because its your choice so you enjoy it more, therefore you give it more.
    I’ve learned much more in the real world about my degree than I could ever in a classroom listening to a mono tone professor who doesn’t believe in you, like you believe in you. You have the freedom to get out into the real world and study for your degree, not to mention the financial freedom. Its a win-win for any go-getter brave enough to go after what they want, what they really want.

  • Andrew

    Hi Scott,
    This is great info! Thank you!
    I’m in my 50’s and just got turned down for a job (although, I’ve been doing the exact job for 8 years and am known as the best in the region) because I don’t have a bachelors. I do have about 38 credits from a community college long before you were born.
    Am I to understand that if I sign up for your program, you’ll map out the exact best tests for me to take to get the degree (any bachelors) in the shortest amount of time?…and cheap too?

  • kay hoffmann

    To Andrew,

    Careful with those CLEP credits! If you are restrained to one set of local schools (by adult responsibilities) they may not accept CLEP transfers for credit. I had that experience many years ago. Check first. Also if you try to test out of college courses, the school may charge you for the credits as if you had attended in the classroom. I also had that happen.


  • William

    I, for one, am very interested in this. I am 40 and have been in my current career for over 12 years (an instructor for 8 of those years). I am looking to make a jump to another job in the same field, but it requires a 4 year degree. I have even taught people in the area in which I want to join. Even though my years of experience basically qualify me for the position, I can’t apply without a degree.

    I will let you know how it works out. I have a 2 year plan to get where I want to be.

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  • Johhnn

    Hi Jay. I liked the article very much. I have two questions, though. First, if you want to take a science class with a lab, how would you take the lab and test out of it? Also, I am currently in High School and my goal is to get into Dental School right out of High School. Would the Dental School that I am applying to accept that I took the courses and that I am actually worth considering? I am not sure if they would accept the courses or take me seriously. Thank you very much!!!

  • Lily

    Hi, what a wonderful article!

    I’m wondering though if this applies to other countries, such as Australia? Our university fees are going through the roof and are set to go even higher. I’ve googled degree by examination australia and there doesn’t seem to be any way to do this in Australia from what I can see (I’ll be researching this in depth over the next couple of months). I’m thinking if there isn’t a way to do this in my country, I might just have to fly over to America.

    I learn best on my own, I have done some university, mainly in forensics and writing/journalism/ethics/lanuage. I would love to find another way to do this, and doing it by examination sounds perfect.

    Thank you for the information, it’s refreshing to see something out of the ordinary.

  • Rain

    Hi, I want to know how exactly i study the course material, and im still a little fuzzy on which classes/tests i need in order to get a bachelors degree in Agriculture. (i havent seen many classes they offer here in las vegas, so I might just give up on that and get hands on experience instead and with a BA in Business)

    BUT my main problem here is: i search how to study for a test, and all that comes up is the study guide, a multiple answer less than 100 or 50 question booklet that doesnt TEACH me the course content, but tests me on it.

    Im looking to be able to FIND the COURSE CONTENT so i can Study on my own, Then take the test. if anyone can find a simple solution for me, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • Mahad Nuh

    Here to get my Bachelors degree fast